On Wednesday 1st June 2022, officials from the Uganda National Council on Science and Technology Accredation Committee (UNAC) paid a Site visit to Makerere University college of Business and Management Sciences (CoBAMS) to officiate the process of accreditation for a new Research Ethics Committee at the college.
A seven people delegation led by Professor Charles B. Rwabukwali the chairperson UNAC first had a courtesy visit to the office of the Principal of CoBAMS and met with Professor Eliah Hisali before the research ethics committee where more Collaboratory avenues were shared. The principal used the opportunity to dedicate his strong commitment to the yet to be accredited College of Business and Management Sciences Research Ethics Committee (COBAMS-REC) for effective operationalization since it is on the college’s shortlist for a five-year strategic Plan projection period.
Dr. Allen Kabagenyi the Vice Chairperson for the CoBAMS Research Ethics Committee who was also the Ag. Chair hosting the delegation mentioned that it was great honor to host the accreditation committee and acknowledged the great feedback and guidance offered by the committee thus far. She mentioned the need for a REC to support on going research at the College, Makerere University and beyond.
She further thanked the Makerere University Research and Innovations fund (MAK-RIF) for the fund that kick started the research committee where she also reinstated how the committee, she serves shall always work in conformity with the Uganda National Council on Science and Technology (UNCST) compliance and guidance principals.
“Without Research, a university is just an advanced high school. Makerere through its colleges and institutes have taken center stage in ensuring development of research and technology to solve societal challenges”, stated the Chairperson of Uganda National Council on Science and Technology (UNCST) Professor Charles Rwabukwali.
He added that this has not only improved the university’s ranking but most importantly efforts to impact communities hence urging the CoBAMS Research and Ethics Committee members to work hard so that they join the list of the now 29 accredited research committees across the country.
Professor Rwabukwali further challenged the audience on benefits of good research practice that lead to increase in the number of publications and hence increased investment in research by government and other donors not forgetting individual benefits like promotions and greener pastures.
He ended by requesting the yet to be instituted COBAMS-REC together with all researchers to always interest themselves in good intentioned research without fear or favor but not harmful ill motivated and censored research that can eventually result into non equitable risk distribution to the target consumers and the general public.
On behalf of the Makerere University college of Business and Management Sciences (CoBAMS) fraternity, the principal Professor Eliah Hisali presented before the Uganda National Council on Science and Technology (UNCST) a quality assurance framework anchored on quality in research and service delivery in the operations of the research ethics committee.
Structures for example the flagship activities in the three schools of the college have commenced where each school through an outreach camp picks up two avenues the community should identify it with. This shall help beef up production of the research ethics committee yet to be instituted.
The Entrepreneurship and Innovations sector at the college that focuses on support of selected markets across the five divisions of Kampala shall aid operations of the research ethics committee through provision of more research ides and capacity building.
“We are in final processes of establishing a policy lab that will be launched soon and will focus on undertaking research to come up with policy suggestions on topical issues, shall also provide a platform for research idea identification and to also interrogate implementation progress arising from the previous suggestions”. Said Prof Hisali who added that the policy lab with members of permanent secretaries in ministries, development partners, private sector and researchers shall work hand in hand with the research ethics committee.
Prof Hisali winded up by assuring the administration’s support to the Research Ethics committee and thanked its team for the efforts to seeking operationalization even amidst the challenging Covid 19 lockdown, assured the accreditation team of good deliverables and outcomes ahead.
At the end of the site visit to the COBAMS-REC office the chair of UNAC Professor Rwabukwali mentioned that the team was impressed with the office and mentioned that they would providing an official communication regarding the site visit at the earliest.
In her conclusive remarks the Ag. Chair of CoBAMS-REC Dr. Allen Kabagenyi thanked the UNAC, Principal, Management and Staff of CoBAMS for all the support towards the establishment of the REC office. She further thanked the Government of Uganda for the start up grant through MAK-RIF and COBAMS Management for the commitment to support the REC office.